October 14, 2010
Page 2

Farewell Joe

Joe Sobran’s last years were a literal nightmare of physical suffering. The agony of diabetes destroying the body through multiple and varying assaults is not only incredibly painful, it can to­tally demoralize the patient.

Joe turned to his Catholic faith for hope and support in confront­ing his terrible affliction.

He did his best in maintaining his profound and lively commentary on key moral, social, and political issues — a talent for which he had no equal.

The Wanderer is proud to have published Joe’s work for twenty­two years. We will miss you Joe, in the years ahead when the moral, social, and political crises will test the character and integrity of every citizen and patriot.

May God grant you eternal peace.

A.J. Matt Jr.


(The following is a report by Paul Likoudis of Joe’s funeral.) McLEAN, Va. — Friends came from as far away as Texas, Illinois, and New York to say a last fare­well to conservative Catholic commentator and author Joseph Sobran at his Tridentine Requiem Funeral Mass at St. John the Be­loved here, celebrated by Fr. Paul Scalia, the parish’s pastor, on October 5.

Sobran died September 30 at Fairfax Nursing Center, Fairfax County, Va.; he had been suffering from complications of diabetes. He was 64.

Joe, who made his mark as a conservative editor at National Review, where he worked for the late William F. Buckley until his firing after 21 years for a column he wrote for The Wanderer, also had a 21- year stint as a weekly columnist for The Wanderer, where his unique commentaries ran from 1986 to 2007.

Joining his four children, brothers and sister, ten grandchildren, and one great- granddaughter in praying for the repose of his soul were stalwarts of the true conservative movement: Patrick J. and Shelley Buchanan; Howard Walsh of Latin Mass Magazine and his wife, Eleanor; Tom and Donna Bethell; Richard Viguerie, a conservative fundrais­ing guru; Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus; Dr. James Lucier, longtime adviser to the late Sen. Jesses Helms; John F. McManus, publicist for the John Birch Society; writer Mickie Tee­tor; Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative; Jon Basil Utley, associate publisher of TAC, and chairman of Americans Against World Empire (ConservativesForPeace. com); Don Devine, former head of the Office of Personnel Management during the Reagan administration, now with the American Conservative Union; Robert Reilly, one-time head of the Voice of America who worked in the Reagan White House under Faith Whittlesey; and Robert Royal of the Faith and Reason Institute.

Also attending were Scott Richert, representing Chronicles magazine; Russian scholar Wayne Allensworth, a frequent contributor to Chronicles; pro-life advocate Mary Schmitz, the widow of former California Cong. John Schmitz, and her daughters Theresa and Elizabeth; The Wanderer’s

Christopher Manion; Brother Mario Calabrese, OP, a seminarian at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington who was by Joe’s side frequently over the past year; Jean-Francois Orsini, TOP, head of the St. Antoninus Institute; C. Bernard Ruffin, author of Padre Pio: The True Story; and Jack Ames, founder and president of Defend Life of Maryland. Many familiar faces from past Wanderer Forums were present as well.

Representing National Review at the funeral were Jack Fowler and Kate O’Beirne; NR’s Rich Lowry attended the wake the previous evening.

Also at the wake were conservative author M. Stanton Evans and conservative activist David Franke.

At the Mass celebrated by Fr. Scalia, Fr. Matthew Mitas of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, one of Sobran’s charter subscribers, and Fr. Franklyn McAfee, pastor emeritus of the parish, were in choir.

In his homily, Fr. Scalia followed the traditional path of mentioning Joe, observing how he maintained a childlike innocence throughout his busy life, and the role of the Church in leading men and women to salvation, explaining in some depth the Church’s mission to teach, rule, and sanctify.

Joe’s funeral arrangements, and the Tridentine Requiem Mass with a professional schola led by David Lang, were prepared with the utmost care by Joe’s longtime publisher Fran Griffin. Her web site, fgfBooks. com, continues to reprint his articles.

Miss Griffin told The Wanderer that her Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation is in the process of collecting and editing all of Joe’s columns for a future book. For more information, contact the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, P. O. Box 1383, Vienna, VA 22183.


© 2010 Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation